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Cheapest bulk produce around?

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I've recently gotten into juicing which I love but being winter, decent produce for cheap is hard to find. I can't afford the fancy market prices like Whole Foods and even the regular Shaws comes off as pricey (considering its poorish quality) and lacks variety. Its not important to me that stuff is organic. I'm looking for some place around Quincy and the south shore if possible. Any ideas where I should go? Is a Costco membership worth it here? I wish I could hit Haymarket every weekend but parking can be such a pain!

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  1. Hmm.. there's that Food Pak Express place near Newmarket Square. Its a huge asian-ish restaurant supply place. I know they have produce, but not sure of the variety. Its signage says wholesale only, but I've never had a problem walking in and buying with cash.

    What are you trying to juice?

    1 Reply
    1. re: grant.cook

      I'm mostly looking to juice greens with a variety of fruits. Nothing specific. Just lots of it. My attempt to be healthier :)

    2. Roxies. They are by far the cheapest. You can find great produce deals, especailly for what you need.

      http://www.roxiesofquincy.com/daily-a...

      1 Reply
      1. re: mwk

        Oh I know where that is. For some reason I thought it was basically a meat only shop. I will have to check it out.

      2. You used to be able to park for cheap ($3?) in the garage right next to Haymerket, on Saturday mornings. Anyone know if that deal is current?

        1 Reply
        1. re: gimlis1mum

          Yes, validated parking (generally from a B&M business at Haymarket such as Haymarket Pizza, Harry's Cheese, Puritan Beef and many in the North End) is still available at the Parcel 7 Garage. The garage does fill up sometimes during market hours, there is only one working elevator, and the lines to exit can get long which might be among the hassles the OP mentioned if buying in bulk.

        2. We do a fair bit of juicing as well, but only use organic. We get most of it at WF and Shaw's (their carrot prices are pretty good).

          If you are really trying to be "healthier", you may want to consider being even more conscious about using organic for juicing. Remember, you are drinking the equivalent of MANY, MANY servings of the fruits/veggies, and along with that is coming any of the pesticides in them.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Science Chick

            I do wash everything well before juicing and while I know that doesn't help all that much, from an affordability stand point I think that's where I will stop. WF and organic is a bit out of my paycheck league :)

            1. re: foxspirit

              Certainly understandable! Here is a list of the "dirty dozen", so at least you can either avoid these, or choose organic for those few:

              http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

              Heh-heh....some make me laugh when considering juice.....make sure not to juice too many non-organic potatoes, ok?

          2. What about Kam Man?

            2 Replies
            1. re: trufflehound

              Kam Man also has good deals on produce and it's worth checking out as well.

              1. re: mwk

                Kam Man is where I'm currently going for most of my stuff.

            2. What about the New England Produce Center? Chelsea is not that far from Quincy...

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/685836

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Years ago I used to buy organic produce in bulk at a vendor at the NEPC, (they were totally organic). Forget the name, but I think they're gone now. Lots of places will sell to the public - money is still green...

              2. Costco has some pretty good deals on bulk fruit, and the quality of many of the items are quite good. This probably doesn't help us South Shore folks, but if you are on your way to somewhere that has a Market Basket, I love checking out their produce (I always hit the Market Basket if I'm making my way to HMart).

                I also have no experience with them, but how about Lambert's in Dorchester?

                1. I get most of my fruits and veg from Lamberts or Shaws but I am not afraid to check the mark down specials. They are usually on racks towards the back of the produce departments and can be really great value. I walked out of Lamberts the other day with two big bags of produce for only 11 bucks! (The Shaws markdown produce is often organic, so it is an even better bargain.) Also, don't forget about Walmart. They actually carry a large amount of organic.

                  1. Price-Rite in Hyde Park on River Street
                    Good Produce that last for more than a few days at very very low prices. We checked out Costco but the prices didn't even come close.

                    1. Haymarket on Saturday would be the winner. Watch out, you can really pack on the pounds by consuming lots of juiced products.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: treb

                        and most of the guys will sell you in bulk if they have it remaining, not just bunches.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Yes, in the last hour you can buy volume for pennies! They don't want to haul it back with them.

                        2. re: treb

                          lbs? Really? What about all those crazy juice fasts? Aren't they made to lose weight?

                          1. re: foxspirit

                            Depends on what you juice and how much you consume. Example; if you juice a pound of carrots, you'll get a small glass of juice, it's a great mixer with other fruit and veggies. Do that everyday and you're going up! I recommend that you measure your calories carefully.

                            1. re: foxspirit

                              A juice fast is just that: a fast. You don't consume anything else! But if you start drinking alot of juices in addition to your regular diet, your taking in alot of extra calories. Plus, you lose all the fiber in the fruits/veggies when you juice, so you don't feel full from juice as you would from the same quantity of the whole veggie.

                              As treb points out, you get a cup of juice from one pound of carrots. That cup has 100 calories, which you can swig down pretty quickly. Do this every day in addition to your regular food intake and you'll take in an extra 700 calories a week, which is about a 1.5 pound gain per week for most people. However, it's not likely that you would sit down and eat a whole pound of carrots in their whole form. Give these considerations, we indulge once a month or so, but certainly not on a daily basis!

                              1. re: Science Chick

                                I think your math is wrong: 700 calories a week times 5 weeks equals 3500 calories which is a pound.

                                1. re: Science Chick

                                  SC is correct, when removing the fiber your body works less as it does not have to break the veggies, fruit etc down. Example; I had a friend who did a juice diet and juiced 2lbs of carrots, in addition to fruits, a day, he gained 7 lbs in a 4 week period. I'm not knocking carrots alone, when preping, I'd recommend weighting and counting calories on everything.

                                  1. re: treb

                                    No, I goofed....lergnom is correct. Extra 500 calories a day will be a pound gained each week.....sorry!

                                  2. re: Science Chick

                                    I am replacing 2 meals a day with the juice. About half greens and half carrots or fruit. Hopefully I will get more nutrients and less weight :P

                              2. Costco most definitely has the lowest prices on produce in my area. They have the lowest prices on dairy items too. I buy just about all my groceries there, so I got the more expensive membership, which gives me a percentage back at the end of the year, which more than pays for my next year's membership. I hope that helps.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Patrincia

                                  Its good to know. I'll go visit and comparison shop a bit. Thanks!

                                  1. re: foxspirit

                                    there is a BJ's in Quincy that also has good produce deals. Especially on items in season. But, they also have the large sizes of things that make it easier to shop when you are going to juice all of it. Might be worth doing a comparison shop as well. I think Roxies is still cheapest of all, though.

                                  2. re: Patrincia

                                    am not sure where you are ? i pay dramatically less for produce at boston's haymarket, or in local asian shops, than what costco charges in nashua nh. except for avocados, which are a steal there, i buy very little produce at costco.

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      I agree with you, hotoynoodle. Haymarket is amazing for prices (I'm always very careful and get bad produce even less than I used to at grocery stores). I find the prices at BJ's and Costco to be way higher. My second choice would be the Asian grocery stores in Chinatown and Brighton, but with the cold we've been having I prefer to avoid too much travel.

                                      The OP mentioned Quincy & South Shore area - I wonder if the large Asian grocery store in Quincy (forgot the name - never have been there) might have good deals on produce?

                                      The other thing I thought of, would be talking to produce managers at stores where they have decent produce (and decent prices, of course) and seeing if you can strike up a deal for larger quantities.

                                      I was going to attempt to travel into Haymarket w/a friend by car, but after reading about the hassles with that, I think I'll stick w/going by T. I'm lucky in that I found a fast bus that goes right to Downtown Crossing - I have a large wire cart to transport groceries & it's been very sufficient for my Haymarket expeditions, even supporting the gi-normous plastic crate of fresh, baby spinach I got one week for a whopping $5. My Lord, we ate spinach salad until it was coming out of our ears, gave lots away, cooked w/it, froze a huge amount and still had more left over. I still don't want to see spinach for awhile... it stayed fresh for much longer than any of those plastic bags or containers I've bought in the stores.

                                      It's deals like this that keep me going there - amazing, but I can't handle extreme cold or heat these days, so I have to be happy w/what I find locally (usually Arax for me).

                                      If I were juicing & used a lot of produce, I'd talk to some of the vendors there (the ones who sold me the best produce) and see if I could work out something every week or so. It's worth a try!

                                      1. re: threedogs

                                        i never really get south of the city for shopping so can't offer experience to that.

                                        not that you'd want to juice them, but this past friday i got 2-pound bags of brussels sprouts for a buck each! they're usually close to $3 a pound, even at market basket. ginger (which i love in fresh juices) was $1 a pound.

                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                          Ha! I bought those brussel sprouts too..:)

                                          1. re: 9lives

                                            I was buying brussels sprouts (couple of times) there until I found out my kid doesn't like them - and then realized, hey, I'm not really crazy for them either. Prefer actual cabbage, esp. the big flattish kind (got some in Chinatown recently - yum. hahaha - but I'm sooooo glad I realized that I've retained my childhood aversion to this vegetable at these prices, rather than the $3 a lb prices!

                                  3. On the south shore I find the best prices for produce is

                                    Kam Man asian market-Quincy
                                    Hill Top-Weymouth
                                    Roxies-Quincy

                                    Disclaimer- I will not shop at Roxies even though I know they often have some of the best prices and I have friends who swear by the place. I find it dirty and smelly and I question their overall hygiene.

                                    However I do want to point out that if you shop around and check the online flyers you can get really good deals at your local stop and shop, shaws or Hannafords. Even Roche Brothers and WF have good deals on certain items each week.

                                    1. Have you heard of Russo's? It is an incredible produce store in Watertown. Great variety and prices. I don't live in the Boston area anymore, but when I visit I always make a trip to Russo's!!!